Essential Install Live! South is commonly known as the smart home trade show and there’s little to dispute that fact at this year’s show.

In fact on the iRoom stand some interesting updates to its concept were showcased.

Known for its stylish support products for Apple devices, the company has also been introducing hard buttons on the side of the products to offer quick access control to some basic functionality, say volume up, lights on etc.

As well as working with automation platforms such as Control4, the system now has its own automation protocol and App designed to provide independent control of a single room system.

All set up and configuration is done within the App and the simple to use concept is ready to go.

The functionality was shown on another new product, the iTop. With its handy sliding connector, this table top unit can support an iPad Pro, iPad Air or iPad mini and has six assignable quick keys control buttons on the glass bezel for control of a third party automation platform or iRoom’s own platform. Control can also be achieved with hand gestures.

Delivering a world exclusive at the show was a new fault monitoring device from Kinetic.

Cloudmonitor sits on the network and can monitor the health of a whole system and individual devices.

An install company in its own right, Kinetic spotted the need for such a device in its own projects and it now offering the functionality to other installers.

A really neat trick to identify pesky intermittent faults, is the product will not just give a live report on a system, but provide data from the past to identify, what has gone wrong previously.

All that is needed to run the product is power and connection to the network and a single unit can provide service for a whole house and different threat level notifications are available. The product is launched next month and currently is available direct from Kinetic by emailing

Smart-e had an interesting world exclusive on its stand in the form of the 4K-9000 HDBaseT tester kit. The two-unit offering is fully HDMI and HDCP 2.2 compliant.

Using its detailed LCD display, the concept allows installers to fault check, test systems or perform a final check on commissioning to make sure everything is as it should be by measuring bit error rates, signal strength and HDCP 2.2 compliance.

The concept offers real time data gathering, measurement logging and an App to store gathered data which works on Apple or Android. With transmitter and receiver models available, Smart-e is also underlining the compact nature and price competitive nature of the new introduction which will be available in 2-three months.

D-Tools was on hand to guide installers through the latest version of its design and estimation software. SI 2016 is available as an upgrade for existing customers and will be provided at no cost for customers participating in the D-Tools Software Assurance program.

The newest version offers improvements in project and data management, integration with SupplyStream and QuickBooks Online, Purchase Order Management, as well as significant upgrades in reporting, scheduling, drawing capabilities and Mobile Install.

Other new features and enhancements include pricing and availability (requires SupplyStream account), creation of purchase orders (select vendors, generate and send POs) and a Dynamic Price Calculator which allows for calculating price from items and labour in a project including shipping costs.

New exhibitor, Krika is a product designed to help installers to always be connected to their customer’s installation so they can be more proactive, more efficient and more profitable.

Bruno Napoli, founder of Krika laid out the advantages and also explained a new feature dubbed Wheose which offers a connection to other Kirka users to help problem solve. 

On the Krika dashboard installers are able to click the ‘help me’ button, which will instantly send out a request to all the other integrators who have installed the same product, with the specific firmware that the installer needs help with.

Bruno explained: “We collect a lot of data, we know what every installer in the world installs and what products are connected at their customer’s place. It’s like a speed dating of custom installers who have problems.

“So when you click on ‘help me’ we will tell you that there are 55 installers in the world, 5 in France, 10 in Italy, 57 in England and those people already installed 200 devices like this and someone will be able to provide the answer.”

Bruno explained Krika’s other features: “Our device scans the network every five minutes. It queries every device for the state of the device. So the installer will login to the Krika back office and see the customer’s venue and all the devices on the network.

“The installer can then pick and choose which important devices should stay connected to the network 24 hours a day and if that device ever disappears from the network, the installer will receive a notification before the customer even knows that something is up.”

Bruno adds: “More than this, because we know how to read the state of the device, we can also see specifics such battery level on the remote control. So we can also send installers a notification if the battery level of one of the remote controls goes under a certain level.”

Rako’s main focus was its new NFC control range of equipment, which can be programmed individually per room and gives a wireless system the exact same functionality as a wired system.

With NFC installers are able to program each keypad using a programming wand. Installers that tap the wand to the keypad will then be able to instantly program the keypad without having to actually have the physical card connection on there.

With the NFC range, Rako has made it possible to use any normal light switch to interface with the Rako Controls, meaning an installer can use virtual toggle or dolly switches, either latching or non-latching switches, to issue Rako commands, so those that want to retain traditional light switches can also have control via iPads or iPhones.

Intelligent Controls supplies and commissions building control systems that integrate with Crestron, Control4, Savant, KNX etc. providing the full under floor system control for boilers, pumps, etc.

The company also works hard to make sure that the walls sensors which detect the temperature in the room are stylish.

John Corbin, company MD, explained: “We’ve brought our new sensors here; we’ve displayed them in such a way that people can see the different finishes rather than the standard block of sensors on the wall.

“The installers visiting us here have been interested in how we can work with them to design a control system; they also ask about our products working with things like Crestron and Control4 and how they work together.

“I’ve seen many regular visitors and a few new people we haven’t seen before who are interested in our solutions. It’s nice to be seen, it’s good to be here and it’s a great platform to tell people about what we do.”

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